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AstraZeneca Survey: Healthcare Professionals Leading Source of Information on Company's Prescription Savings Programs

WILMINGTON, Del., July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- More than a third of the people who contacted AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) to inquire about the company's prescription savings programs learned of the programs from their doctors or pharmacists, according to a year-long survey of more than 12,000 patients.

The survey found that 35 percent of the patients who called AstraZeneca's information center regarding prescription savings programs said they were referred by healthcare professionals. Another 14 percent learned of the program from brochures, which also are available in doctors' offices, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies.

"AstraZeneca understands that our medicines don't do patients any good if they cannot afford to pay for them," said Tony Zook, President and CEO, AstraZeneca North America. "We connect families with our patient assistance programs in a variety of ways, but our most valuable tool is providing doctors and pharmacists with the information they need to help their patients."

As they meet with healthcare providers, AstraZeneca's pharmaceutical sales specialists share up-to-date clinical information on medicines and other issues impacting patient care, including adherence, educational materials and prescription savings programs.

The study's data shows that the message on patient assistance programs is getting through in a variety of ways. AstraZeneca asked 12,487 patients who contacted its information center between April 2007 and March 2008 where they learned about the company's patient assistance programs. The results:

-- Doctor/pharmacist 35 percent

-- Brochure 14 percent

-- Advertising 9 percent

-- AZ Web sites 7 percent

-- Community programs 6 percent

-- Family/friend 5 percent

-- Other/don't know 24 percent

Patients who cited advertising said they learned of the program from a variety of newspaper, radio and television ads. AstraZeneca was the first in the industry to promote its prescription savings programs in its product television ads. Television ads for NEXIUM started carrying the message in April 2005, and all of AstraZeneca's product television ads have included the information since then. Previous research shows that including this information in our advertising significantly raised awareness and the impact of AstraZeneca's patient assistance program among the public.

AstraZeneca has offered prescription savings programs side by side with its medicines for three decades and now offers one of the industry's most generous programs. People without insurance who earn up to $30,000 for an individual and $60,000 for a family of four may be eligible for help from AstraZeneca.

In 2007 alone, AstraZeneca helped nearly half a million people fill 2.8 million prescriptions, resulting in more than $500 million of savings to patients. AstraZeneca offers help under the AZ&Me Prescription Savings programs, including support for people without insurance, people with Medicare Part D and a third program that provides medicines to healthcare facilities.

Patients can learn more about the AZ&Me Prescription Savings program at

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $29.55 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.35 billion dollar healthcare business with 12,200 employees committed to improving people's lives. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

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SOURCE AstraZeneca
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